ZANU PF is reportedly meddling in the running of schools in the Midlands province, after its Gweru district leaders ordered that school development committee (SDC) chairpersons be ruling party members.
Addressing Gweru district headmasters last week, Zanu PF central committee member Nugget Manyima said school heads have a lot of influence and must play a role in campaigning for President Emmerson Mnangagwa ahead of polls this year.
“We recognise and respect the part played by school heads during the liberation struggle. You are children of Zanu PF because you work for a Zanu PF government. In the same vein, SDC chairpersons should be Zanu PF members,” Manyima said.
“As headmasters you have influence in your constituencies. Go and spread the good works that HE (His Excellency) President ED (Emmerson Dambudzo) Mnangagwa is doing in the country and speak of the development which he has brought to the country.”
Manyima said Zanu PF was a “mass party” and a “vanguard revolutionary party” whose pockets run deep.
“All opportunities come from Zanu PF, we have Teachers for ED, Pastors for ED, Mahwindi for ED (and) everyone for Economic Development,” he said.
In the past months, Zanu PF has been roping in civil servants including teachers to campaign for Mnangagwa’s re-election.
Last week, NewsDay reported that the party, through its Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology, gave lessons on its dogma to university and college lecturers at the Midlands State University.
This is, however, a gross violation of the Public Service Act, which stipulates that government workers should not dabble in partisan politics.
Speaking at the same school heads meeting in Gweru district, Zanu PF Central Committee members Wellington Magura and Bongani Rukanda underscored the need for civil servants to know that their “bread is buttered” by the Zanu PF government, hence the need to support the party.
Zanu PF youth league secretary for legal affairs Phineous Makombe said civil servants had a role to play by being patriotic in “protecting the gains of the liberation struggle”, especially in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said the latest strategy to engage school heads and continued interference in the running of government schools was “politicisation of education”.